My Study Interests
In the evenings I dedicate most of my time to learning as much as I can about computer graphics. I’m especially interested in fluid dynamics, ray tracing and physics-based animation.
A few years ago I came across a paper on unified spray, foam and bubbles for particle-based fluids. When I saw the simulated ocean waves in motion I was hooked. I wanted to understand how it works and how to produce these animations myself. This revived my old interest for graphics and inspired me to start learning again.
My interest in computer graphics actually dates back to the mid 80s when I experimented with sprites, plots and a GUI for my homemade periodic table of elements on the Commodore 64.
In the 90s I was super-inspired by the demoscene, especially by the Finnish demogroup Future Crew. I dabbled in 3D Studio and was also active in a local demogroup (Powerrun) for a while, but when I moved away for college I didn’t have the time anymore. My first attempts to make an animated music video in 3D Studio fell apart as well because it took forever to render a single frame, not to mention a few minutes. My poor i486 PC just couldn’t handle it.
In college I was excited about the opportunity to use their SGI workstations, but access was very limited - too many people and not enough machines, so I focused on programming instead - two interesting projects actually:
One project was about a Direct3D based audio animation prototype with soundcard manufacturer Terratec to test their 3D audio API. You could assign audio-sources to objects in 3D space, animate them graphically, record the animation on a MIDI track, and play back the animation in sync with a video so you could hear to a helicopter fly over your head.
For my final thesis I developed a prototype of a client-/server-based application that allowed users to upload maps and other geo-data and add them in multiple layers on a 3D landscape model. This was quite an ambitious project given the time available, but I managed to get a simple working Java3D prototype ready for my final presentation. I wanted to continue this project as an OpenSource project, but with Google Earth around it didn’t seem worth spending more time on this little app.
After I graduated life took a different turn. I moved to the United States, worked as a graphic designer, and returned to web development - my interest in computer graphics had to move into the background for a little while, but the flame was still alive.
In the recent few years I’ve taken online courses I felt could bring me a little closer to my goal to create realistic fluid animations. I completed courses on computer graphics, calculus and complex analysis, dynamical systems, parallel and distributed computing, brushed up some C++ and Java, learned new languages and frameworks, Unity and VR development – but it’s all disconnected, and I still have fill some blanks and bring all these fragments together.
This has been a slowly moving process but I hope that I will have a few interesting things to show in the next year or two.